MedFlight and HealthNet Aeromedical Services celebrated ten years of operation at their base located near the Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport on Oct. 14.
“Reaching ten years in any relationship, whether it be a marriage, or a business relationship like this, achieving a ten year milestone is a big deal. I think that this partnership has been very strong through our ups and downs, and I think that the relationship that we’ve held has been in the best interest of the patients here in southern Ohio,” said MedFlight CEO and President, Tom Allenstein.
Ten years ago, there were no aeromedical services in the Ohio River Valley between Huntington and Cincinnati. The two companies, HealthNet and MedFlight, both saw that the Portsmouth region was under served, and wanted to help the community.
“Our goal overall, as companies, both MedFlight and HealthNet is to get people to an appropriate level of care for whatever is wrong with them in an efficient amount of time,” said HealthNet’s Professional Relations Manager, Veronica Neale. “We do scene flights from accidents, we also do medical scene flights so if you’re having a heart attack or stroke and emergency medical services find you and you’re in a remote part of Southern Ohio, we can pick you up for that. We also do inter-facility flights, from one hospital to another that has a higher level of care.”
As part of the ten year celebration, the base was rededicated. During the reception, CEO’s Tom Allenstein and Clinton Burley addressed the crew and team members and thanked them for their service with the companies.
“I came to MedFlight in 2004, as the Chief Operating Officer and one of my first tasks as we identified areas that were under served, was handling Portsmouth,” said Allenstein. “We had many discussions about how we could better serve Portsmouth and my mentor had been talking to the people at HealthNet about this idea of coopetition. The idea of working with your competitors, at the time HealthNet was a competitor of MedFlight. But it just made sense for us to work together and do what was best for the community.”
The base was formed, and it is the first and only of it’s kind in the nation.
“This base is just such a point of pride. When you think about these programs, we’re here in the community for the right reasons. And that reason is to safely take care of patients, and that’s what brought these two very alike programs together, in a time in our industry, over a decade ago when there was significant growth and increasing competition, we just said, ‘we’re going to do the right thing for a small community that needs our service,’ the community needed our service and we needed to do it in a cooperative model,” said MedFlight’s CEO and President, Clinton Burley.
In addition, Wayne Allen said a blessing over the base and the operating crews, and a new sign was revealed.
Burley shared his goals for the next ten years, optimistic about the base and the services the companies provide for the area.
“We want to do everything safely, and we want to do it well,” Burley explained. “And continue to push for enhanced clinical operations. Whatever comes next, we want to be on the front-end of it. These two programs aren’t programs that are followers. These are national leader-level programs that have a strong history. The roots of MedFlight go back over 30 years, and the roots of HealthNet will reach 30 years this summer. I think I can speak for Tom, when I say we feel a responsibility to nationally, to lead on whatever the front of this life saving industry is and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”
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